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Extraordinary Staircases from AD Features : Architectural Digest www.architecturaldigest.com  Water Mill, New York staircase

Extraordinary Staircases from AD Features : Architectural Digest
http://www.architecturaldigest.com
Water Mill, New York staircase

More on Stairs.

I am preoccupied with stairs.

Oh elegance!

When I was a young girl with ah, so many longings, I yearned for  a splendid home of my own – a home with a sweeping spiral staircase!

As a new bride I harbored dreams of  the mansions featured in magazines like Architectural Digest – gorgeous homes of the rich and famous with circular staircases leading to enormous bed/sitting rooms, with silken draperies, libraries, and the artwork of the masters on the walls.

And my yearning for such a home was always punctuated by the impressive, inspirational, sumptuous spiral stairs.

And would you believe I finally did get what I wished for?

Have you ever seen the GEICO commercial about a guy who meets a genie and makes a wish for a million bucks.  And that’s what he gets – a million male deer?

My wish was exactly like that.  The genie appeared in the form of Bill (my singularly brilliant spouse) and he magically produced a spiral staircase for the house of my dreams.

The stairs are spiral all right, and they are

metal,

not particularly elegant,

slightly rickety,

 even dangerous

(particularly in lightning storms),

frightening to those who fear heights,

and the railing is similar to a stiff rubber hose!

Bill is a Civil Engineer who spent a lifetime building roads (not houses), but he knows all about blueprints and measurements and since he is a highway man, getting from one point to another.  The point is, his design plan worked.

We do have a lovely, much beloved, mostly one level, mostly comfortable, unpretentious home.  Bill designed it – drew out the plans and everything.  AND THERE IS A UTILITY ROOM IN THE BASEMENT.

Evidently, the most utilitarian way down to the utility room was to install a pre-fabricated metal set of winding scares stairs.

AND YES, BILL MADE MY WISH COME TRUE AND I DO HAVE THAT SPIRAL STAIRCASE!

It is not a million bucks, and certainly not a mansion, but who can complain with a literal wish coming true?

Spiral Stairs 2

Spiral Stairs 1

Eeeeeeek!!!!!!

 

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Jobie - Man of Many Numbers

They say it is simply charming to live “where everybody knows your name.”

My nearby little town of Lexington, Virginia is like that, with one big difference.  There is a place in town where names don’t count – only numbers – membership numbers.  It’s the Rockbridge Farmers’ Co-op!

Farmers Coop SignWe have been gassing up the car at our local Farmer’s Cooperative for years and I actually forgot how to do-it- myself since the Co-Op insists on full service.  Now (being  spoiled  and pampered) I simply pull up to a pump and well –  wait.  Who could ask for anything more?

And along comes JOBIE, efficiently taking care of things while I wait and daydream, and when all is done, he hands me the receipt.  The bill then comes to Bill but to me, the gasoline is always free!

How is that remarkable?

 JOBIE KNOWS MY NUMBER.

IT’S A FIVE DIGIT MEMBERSHIP NUMBER.

AND JOBIE KNOWS IT BY HEART

                                           (ALONG WITH THOUSANDS OF OTHER NUMBERS)!

                                           and 

                                       JOBIE NEVER FORGETS!

 Is there something about my face?  Is that how he does it?

Does he recognize the peculiar dents and scratches on my car? 

Is it the license plate?  Naw.  That’s another set of numbers.

I  asked him how he recalls membership numbers out of the thousands of cars and people who come through.  And he simply shrugs and says, “Don’t know…. Just do.”

I am amazed!  I have been amazed for all these years and always hatching diabolical plans to mess him up.

Like when Bill and I go away on vacation I figure Jobie will forget the number.  “Out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t work though.  We can be away for weeks, maybe years.  He never forgets.

Lately I have been challenging him by saying, “I’ll bet someone else is getting my gas bill!”  And he just smiles.  But the truth is he never makes a mistake!

There is real hidden talent in this country and I have told Jobie he should look around for a television show to feature his rare gift.  He allowed me to take his picture but I don’t know what  t.v. show to send it to.  Perhaps you, in cyberspace, will recognize pure genius and suggest a way to put this talent to good use.

I am proud to introduce you to an impressive young fellow –  Jobie – a Virginia Numbers Man.

 

 

 

 

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/muse/

Can't Stop NowI am beyond excited!

Bill and I were on our road home tonight when we saw a doe and her spotted baby.

“Oh look”, I said,  “There is the Mama deer and her little one we have seen lately in the neighborhood.”  I always wished I could get a photograph but Virginia doe and their fawns are often very elusive.

“No! Look!  There are TWO!” I cried, “And  they are TWINS and they are feeding!”

Bill stopped the car and I held my breath.

The Mama deer looked right at us as if to say, “I CAN’T MOVE NOW.  DON’T YOU SEE THESE KIDS ARE HUNGRY?”

And there she stayed for several minutes, just long enough for me to take out the camera and try to get a shot.

Mama n Younguns

Twin Fawns Suckling

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Misty Morning Mountain View

Bill and I have been city transfers to Virginia country life for 26 years now.

The house feels brand new and happily, our visitors keep saying, “You have a nice place here.”

Oh, it needs a few tweaks like interior paint, but it is intimidating to think about moving big furniture around , so we invested in Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers.

The ugly old wood stove still works to save our lives in winter when the power goes out.  You  can’t disguise an ugly stove so she has a place of honor in the living room.   After 26 years she looks a bit tired with rust stains and slightly dull brass edging, but  I consider them wrinkles and frown lines and signs of character (like mine) and we will grow old together.

Our Wood Stove

In the garden, where we dug and weeded, and planted, and weeded ad infinitum (reaching for the ultimate landscape and nature’s edible harvests), we are now content to watch bears, squirrels, and birds massacre the fruitful peach trees.  And the once raised-bed vegetable garden became a giant salad bowl for deer.   Ah well, there are two farmer’s markets in our little town.

hypertufa-pool-1

I used to make Hypertufa pots with my friends (they look like natural rock).  I still use them to enhance the garden, but if you ask me to make more I’ll undoubtedly be yawning and yearning for a nap! There are wonderful  memories of “Hypertufa parties” and how we worked so hard mixing cement with feathers. What fun we had –  like children playing in the mud.

Living out here in “no man’s land” is still exciting though. I can always look out the window to see a sweet doe and her spotted fawn happily munching flowers I thought they wouldn’t like.  And I always hold my breath in awe no matter how often I see them.

Or I can see so many wild turkeys strutting along that I call them a “herd” instead of a flock. Technically a group of wild turkeys is  a flock, whereas a group of domesticated turkeys is known as a rafter or gang.

Or how about that Mama Bear and her twin cubs who recently marched right past our living room window and dared anyone to get in the way?

Life does move on (albeit a bit slower) even in Rural Virginia.  And like anywhere else, the people are always who matter most.  Happily we are still surrounded by living characters who color our lives. But, we lost close friends over time and are frequently reminded of how important they were then and now as they inhabit memories and dreams.

  • Meche taught me all about laughter and fun, and even though I never caught on, the value of bargain shopping.
  • From Viola I learned about land and water cress  and never to allow a dog to kill  chickens or sheep “else he will be shot by the farmer or you will have to shoot him yourself.”   She was a gruff, impatient, kindly friend and I will never forget her shouting, “ARE WE GOING TO PLAY OR NOT?” when we talked too much before or during a ladies’ poker game.
  • Les was a man’s man and a lady’s idea of John Wayne – a big man, always ready to help in a big way.
  • Courageous, fun loving Mary Beth insisted on always trying new things.  We met as docents at the Stonewall Jackson House.  “MB” would never stop at a chain restaurant when we traveled together and everywhere we went was an exciting adventure.
  • Frank and Alice contributed Forsythia bushes when we were new, and told us about Puff Ball mushrooms that were safe to eat.
  • Brownie kept us supplied with homemade pickles that we didn’t like, but we did love Brownie.

 But as we go about the business of life, making new friends and forging new memories,  enjoying the old house in slightly different ways, Bill and I are still genuinely thrilled when visitors say,“You have a nice place here.”

And they don’t seem to mind the sign in the guest room that reads:

“Check out time: Noon! Gratuities Accepted!”

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I have to stop and marvel at how beautiful are the seasons in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

More Baling

Make Hay While the Sun Shines: Meaning

Make the most of one’s opportunities while you have the chance.

Make hay while the sun shinesThis proverb is first recorded in John Heywood’s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, 1546:

“Whan the sunne shinth make hay.  Which is to say

Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away.”

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This is Photo Story #4 for the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge.  The rules are to post a photo a day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo.  It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph.  Oh yes,  and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.  Today I nominate Ana of Celebrating Sunshine, who has a blog that shines with a truly happy outlook on life. 

A Walk on the Wild Side - Our Forest

Beyond my home there is a forest glen

where hoof prints and purple shadows

 line a path of dappled shade and sun

deep with a woodland reverie.

Come upon a rustic bench for resting

a place where you can think unfurled.

Sit there,

where you can hear the world.

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lady at computer clip artBill said we needed an oil change (before driving to Jessica’s graduation) and he finally remembered to call our friendly auto repair folks.  They were “closed from Thursday to Monday.”  Time was tight but  he waited and called again.

“We are all booked up today,” they said. “Bring it in and leave it overnight and we’ll work on it tomorrow.”

Ho hum.  Nothing new.  Frustrating.

But, that got me thinking.

I keep forgetting to call my hair dresser too, even though I am beginning to resemble Big Foot. 

And now it is late at night and the salon is closed.

I wish I could book an appointment right now, while I am on the computer writing this post.

Or I wish I could have done it earlier from my mobile phone, when we were out to dinner.

But of course, that’s just dreaming  because after hours around here, everything in town is closed.

Ah – but it turns out, I can book appointments after hours.

I can actually do all that.

Or I could – if my favorite businesses had online appointment options. booknow button

Actually, there is a world of instant online appointment scheduling out there.   Many businesses across the country offer it, and many people like me are enjoying it.

Only I’m not enjoying it yet!

I did find an interesting site/service for business owners though, called ScheduleYa.

I’m not a business owner of course, but I sure would like to share this site with my hairdresser.

It’s a Book Now system offered to local businesses anywhere in the country – for free.

The ScheduleYa website promises it only takes minutes for a business to set up an online Book Now button for easy appointment scheduling.

The thing is, where I live, near the magical town of Lexington, Virginia, most businesses do not have online reservations.

Do you have online booking options in your town?

Have you ever used a Book Now button to make an online appointment?

The whole thing is new to me, but I know I wish we had it.

So, I plan to share ScheduleYa (via this post, FB, and Twitter) with some of the places around here that require appointments:

  • beauty salons,
  • massage therapists
  • reflexologists
  • chiropractors,
  • pool maintenance companies,
  • electricians,
  • plumbers,
  • lawn service contractors,
  • auto repair shops,
  • local realtors,
  • dentists.

Maybe they will check out the free ScheduleYa option and will see the great value in service to their customers, a time-saver addition for their staff, and even a marketing tool for their businesses.

And maybe if only one of my favorites begins, the others will follow and we will all “be in business”.

A working ScheduleYa “Book Now” site:

JBC Tire -ScheduleYaSample

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Storm a Brewing 2Random Friday Randoms

  • I paid the locker fee for a whole year at the YMCA.  Now the question is, will I go?  And/or, will I go regularly?
  • Also signed up for a Beginner’s Crochet class at our local Stitchery

    Actually, I know how to crochet but unable to read a pattern, join new skeins to old ones, or end a thing so it doesn’t unravel.  Some folks have received Dor’s scarves that are undoubtedly unraveled by now.  And apologies if your feet are sticking through that afghan I sent last Christmas!

    It was the same with a long ago Beginner’s Typing Class when  I was already typing fast but had no idea how to set margins.  Good thing WordPress sets the margins for us!

    Is this a personal personality flaw or what?  How about playing the flute in high school and making First Chair after memorizing Flight of the Bumble Bee while never learning to read music?

    But more randomly:

  • We had dinner out with good friends (the same good friends) twice this week (or was it thrice?).  It is always amazing to find we never run out of things to talk about.
  • The grounds around the house are lovely again, filled with the hope of beauteous blossoms and neatly manicured beds.  Everything is mulched, trimmed and awaiting the encroaching weeds of summer and deer denuding.  Spring never fails to elicit hope in my heart and oh, Virginia is truly gorgeous this time of year – like the fancy icing on a wedding cake.

    Cardinalis_cardinalis_in_Cercis_canadensis

    en.wikipedia.org Cardinalis cardinalis male feeding female, in a white-flowered C. canadensis

There was a storm brewing today though.  I am afraid of thunder storms so managed to beat it home in time but it didn’t thunder too much after all.  Otherwise, there is always the closet for shaking in privacy and  missing old dog, Rozie.  Rozie used to be so frightened of storms that her teeth would literally chatter.  I have never heard of a dog’s teeth chattering, have you?

 

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Winter Leftovers Waiting for Shades of Green

Shades of Grey

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Do you get the feeling March is laughing at us?

Defying Summer

Defying Summer

Did we ever actually lounge in a summer sun?

Picnic Anyone

Picnic Anyone?

March brought another storm today and smugly dumped a brand new blanket

to taunt us shivering souls with memories of a mythical time of dreams.

Remember when we donned shorts and flip flops, bathing suits, and tanning gel

and basked in the warming rays of the sun?

But what good is a wallapalooza snow storm without complaining? A cup of hot chocolate can only go so far.

Deer Crossing

Poor Deer Crossing

Because the memories grow stronger now about lazy summer days of poolside slumber, sun glasses, tan lines, red polished toes, birds singing, and soft warm summer breezes.  Was there ever such a time?  And will there ever be again?

 

Frosting on the Pool House

Frosting on the Pool House

But of course this is a Friday in March and it’s another snow day in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley.  No time for summer memories.  Snow shovels await.

And tonight it is supposed to get down to 8 degrees!

 

 

 

 

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